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Biodiversity Conservation 2018-06-21T16:26:39+00:00
“A Rainforest Left Standing is Worth More Than One Cut Down”

Lapa Rios is an inspiring model for the protection of biodiversity. So it is regarded by our employees, our guests, the tourism industry, our local community and the Costa Rican government. Our mission is to demonstrate that responsible tourism can be profitable and therefore a successful vehicle for ensuring wilderness preservation.

OUR APPROACH

Conservation In Action
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Private Nature Reserve

We protect 1,000 acres of Central America’s last remaining tropical lowland rainforest

Lapa Rios sits within a 1,000-acre private nature reserve. Our vast and pristine property acts as a wildlife corridor and protective barrier for the 100,000-acre, mega-biodiverse Corcovado National Park.

To guarantee the permanent protection of this parcel of tropical rainforest, the visionary founders of Lapa Rios – John and Karen Lewis – have signed a conservation easement. Undertaken in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the Costa Rican land conservation organization Cedarena, the easement turns the Lewis’ personal commitment to rainforest conservation into a binding agreement that ensures that Lapa Rios is preserved in perpetuity.

The easement comes with strict guidelines around land use. It prohibits all extractive activities, such as mining, forestry and hunting, as well as the building of mass tourism facilities and infrastructure. It even caps trail construction at a maximum of 10,000 metres (there are currently 8km of trails around the reserve). At the same time, the easement encourages both scientific and educational activities within the reserve.

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Research, Rivers & Trap Cameras

Wildcat conservation on the Osa Peninsula

The Osa Peninsula is one of the last landscapes that can still support not only Jaguar, but also Margay, Ocelot, Jaguarundi and Puma. Over the years, Lapa Rios has supported various wildcat conservation programs, donating cameras and video equipment, and offering the use of our property to researchers. This allows them to study feline behavior and population densities in order to better protect these highly endangered species. Since 2015 we have also been monitoring the water quality of Rio Carbonera, a crucial resource for the health of our flora and fauna.

Currently we are collaborating with Osa Conservation, the University of Florida (Laboratory of Spatial Ecology), and a number of other research initiatives. We have recently started offering room and board for scientists and field operatives, and are considering hosting a full-time onsite scientist.

At the lodge, we offer a special tour through the rainforest upon request that allows guests to install and review camera traps that generate photos and data essential to the survival of our precious felines.

Interested in helping? Quality trap cameras are hard to source in the rainforest. We rely mostly on friends traveling here to kindly bring them over. If you are interested in donating a camera trap and/or transporting one over for us, we would be more than grateful. Please contact us for more information.

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Biodiversity

We provide sanctuary to some of the world’s rarest flora and fauna

For over 20 years, Lapa Rios has successfully protected 1,000 acres of predominantly primary rainforest from logging and uncontrolled development. Providing an important buffer for neighbouring Corcovado National Park, our reserve acts as a wildlife corridor and sanctuary for the incredible array of flora and fauna endemic to the region.

The Osa is one of the last strongholds of the jaguar in Central America, and is home to all four Costa Rican monkey species, including the squirrel monkey, white-face capuchin, mantled howler, and spider monkey. Other forest inhabitants include the three-toed sloth, silky anteater, tapir, different species of poison dart frog, and over 300 bird species including the scarlet macaw and toucans. Discover more of the wildlife that calls Lapa Rios home.

Biologists also indicate that an immense rainforest tree called the Sangrillo Colorado (Paramuchaerium Gruberi) can only be found in the Lapa Rios reserve. Not even is it present in nearby Corcovado National Park, home to almost 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. We invite our guests to contribute to the Lapa Rios reforestation program during their stay by transplanting a primary rainforest seedling of their choice to an area of secondary growth.

A Rainforest Left Standing

“Imagine North America 300 years ago. No people, or rather just a few pockets of them here and there. No cars, no chemicals and no oceans of concrete. Biodiversity moves about and looks on mankind as curious, loud and non-threatening. This is where Lapa Rios has landed. They have found a way to nestle themselves into the middle of it all and co-exist with life. Not to choose what life stays and what goes as man is so very good at. At Lapa Rios, all life flourishes and prosperity is a given.”

– Patrick, Colorado

Questions About Conservation At Lapa Rios?

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